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I recently completed a series of articles for Kareo’s Getting Paid blog about how small business management issues relate to practice management.  While medical practices have an important mission that reaches beyond business, they can’t achieve that mission without succeeding on business terms.  And, in many fundamental ways, medical practices are not so different from […]

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It’s that time of year again … when every goal you’ve imagined for your practice seems possible, and every problem seems fixable.  So you make that long list of resolutions, but, by week two, you’re already overwhelmed and discouraged.  After all, there was a reason you didn’t fix all those problems or implement all those […]

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Almost everyone wants to be more successful and achieve more each year than they did the year before.  Here are a few straightforward things you can do to guarantee your success in 2012. First, ignite your passion for the practice.  Recognize all the capabilities you have and how you can use those to grow the practice in […]

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Joe and Judy’s recent webinar (sponsored by Kareo) was a big hit! If you didn’t have a chance to attend ‘live,’ you can register and view it here: Embezzlment-proof your practice Most medical practices are victims of embezzlement at some point — yes, you read that right! — so if you haven’t already learned how […]

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Joe Capko did a webinar with Medical Practice Management Web Advisor earlier this week on how effective leadership translates to more productivity from your staff — and vice versa.  One of his themes was establishing trust by listening and treating people fairly, and letting them know they are valued.  People give more to their jobs […]

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The old Silicon Valley adage “hire slow, fire fast” is actually apt for any type of small business, including medical practices.  The smaller the team, the more powerful this idea is, because as team size shrinks, each member’s contribution becomes more critical to success. Moreover, a single poor performer or “bad apple” can disrupt a smaller team […]

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Balancing work flow and eliminating troublesome bottlenecks in a busy medical practice are chronic problems, but if ignored they become a financial drain and compromise patient service. In fact, a decline in profits and patient gripes are often the things that alert the physician or manager that workflow problems have gotten out of hand. But […]

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Do you have conflicting personalities in your office? Do such differences result in petty squabbling?  While inter-office conflicts are common, there are a few things an administer can do to greatly reduce conflict in the workplace.  It’s important to address conflicts before they affect the professionalism of your practice, the morale of your staff, and […]

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Regulatory requirements that affect the medical practice are changing rapidly.  While the primary focus may seem to be on EHR systems and meaningful use to obtain those stimulus funds, there are other mandatory system changes that need to be addressed now, starting with the conversion to ICD -10 code set. The new code set represents […]

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Michael Zhuang, an investment advisor with a focus on physicians, offered an interesting point of view in a recent post on Physicians Practice.  He observed that doctors often fail to accumulate significant wealth in large part because they place too much emphasis on living a “doctor-appropriate” (i.e., fancy) lifestyle, they’re so busy they don’t have […]

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Harvard Business Review posted a great tip today about “real teams.”   The pointed out that “real” teams — i.e., groups that really work together as one — all share three important characteristics: Shared sense of purpose Flexible skills Mutual accountability There’s a great lesson here for medical practices.  Physicians set the tone of purpose and accountability.  […]

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Marketing via social media has many advantages for small businesses of all types.  It’s a non-salesy way to connect with customers at lower out-of-pocket cost to start up than traditional advertising.  No wonder so many medical practices are exploring how they can get started with social media — and no wonder that so many ‘experts’ […]

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If there’s one thing you can do to make a huge difference in the credibility of your website, it’s using real photos of yourself and your staff instead of stock photography. Stock photos never look natural — and can even be misleading, especially when stock photos of people with different gender/age are used on pages […]

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The foundation for effective management of the revenue cycle is the practice’s financial polices – so make yours rock-solid!  They need to reflect the practice’s culture and payment philosophy. This becomes more critical with the increase in high deductible insurance plans that place more responsibility on the patient. Here are some key factors in developing effective […]

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Here are three  simple strategies your practice can take to attract more referrals, gain visibility and be the doctor of choice in your specialty. Forge Alliances:  You can’t build your network of referrals by sitting in your office, so get out and meet the other health care providers and potential referral sources.  You can maximize the […]

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Whether you are a academic faculty practice, multi-specialty group or a solo physician, there are some simple things your practice can do to protect the environment and save money while you do it! Cut printing costs by scanning insurance cards and posting internal documents on line such as employee manuals, newsletters and  other shared practice information. Also print […]

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Our last post talked about some of the key performance indicators a practice can examine to understand how well it is performing.  Now we will dig a  little deeper and look at other indicators that identify if a practice is above the norm and meeting the expectations the team has set. Managing referrals and the […]

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To begin your quest to understand  how well the practice is performing is to  compare last year’s financial performance to the prior year, examine shifting trends and identify the reasons these shifts are occurring.  For example, are you doing less of a particular procedure and, if so, is there a reasonable explanation – or if one […]

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We just published a new article on Kareo’s blog about ACOs.  Everyone’s talking about them, but we wonder if all the anxiety’s warranted.  We anticipate there will be a lot of waiting-and-seeing, since the scale requirements (5,000 Medicare patients for main program, 15,000 for the Pioneer program), technology standards (well beyond meaningful use — intense reporting […]

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Physicians are accustomed to speaking in front of their peers and giving clinical presentations, but don’t assume this makes you a good speaker for a general audience.   Beyond practice makes perfect, here are ten tips to take to the podium: Read your audience. Using appropriate humor can: Warm up the audience; Engage the audience; and Help you relax. Stay […]

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Mastering referrals is an art and a powerful tool in helping you create the practice of your dreams! Define your perfect patient, the demographics, the type of cases and the kind of patient you  like to treat. Identify  how you can  reach those people and build a solid referral network. Create a marketing plan that nurtures the ideal […]

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Collection problems don’t begin with a rejected insurance claim or a patient’s failure to make prompt payment.  The headache of managing the accounts receivable starts with  the patient registration form – data collection. It’ s the  receptionists and schedulers failure to  gather sufficient  and accurate financial data when patients first contact the office. Why does this occur?  […]

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 Know how much  it really cost you to see a patient. Divide your annual operating costs  plus the physicians wages by the number of patients you see each year. That’s the number you need to know. Analyze payer performance.  Look at your top 10 CPT codes and how the  five  highest volume payers are reimbursing for […]

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Many healthcare professionals — hospitals and doctors in private practices alike — are fearful about using social media to connect with their communities.  Among other things, they’re worried about privacy issues and regulations (e.g., HIPPA rules).  Yet, with more and more patients coming onto social networks — and, especially, using them to connect with other […]

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Medical practice revenue is tighter than ever. It’s time for you to take critical steps to keep costs under control and improve profits. The first step to fixing the bottom line is to look for the waste. Wasted energy results in a loss of potential revenue and lots of frustration.  There is waste throughout the typical practice, but most of it is […]

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